These are the reasons why you will fail out of nursing school, IF you fail out of nursing school. I’m rooting for all of you, and I want you all to succeed.
I don’t want anyone to fail out of nursing school. But the reality is that according to the National League for Nursing Study, the rate for students that either fail or drop out is 20%. That’s 1/5th.
So at orientation, if you look around, every one out of 5 of you will not make it. Will not be there at graduation. And that’s a pretty sobering statistic, and one that I do want you to keep kind of in the back of your mind, especially if that motivates you to work harder.
Because the reality is that some of you will flunk out. Some of you will drop out, and I don’t want that for any of you.
Today I'm talkingabout the reasons why you will fail out of nursing school, if you fail out of nursing school. I’m rooting for all of you, and I want you all to succeed. I don’t want anyone to fail out of nursing school. But the reality is that according to the National League for Nursing Study, the rate for students that either fail or drop out is 20%. That’s 1/5th.
So at orientation, if you look around, every one out of 5 of you will not make it. Will not be there at graduation. And that’s a pretty sobering statistic, and one that I do want you to keep kind of in the back of your mind, especially if that motivates you to work harder. Because the reality is that some of you will flunk out. Some of you will drop out, and I don’t want that for any of you.
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This is Why You Will FAIL Out of Nursing School
Welcome back to the Nursing School Week by Week Podcast. I’m your host, Melanie, and today I want to talk about the reasons why you will fail out of nursing school, if you fail out of nursing school. So, obviously I’m rooting for all of you, and I want you all to succeed. I don’t want anyone to fail out of nursing school. But the reality is that according to the National League for Nursing Study, the rate for students that either fail or drop out is 20%. That’s 1/5th. So at orientation, if you look around, every one out of 5 of you will not make it. Will not be there at graduation. And that’s a pretty sobering statistic, and one that I do want you to keep kind of in the back of your mind, especially if that motivates you to work harder. Cause the reality is that some of you will flunk out. Some of you will drop out, and I don’t want that for any of you. So today we’re talking about the reasons why nursing students fail to graduate. We’re doing this because the more information you have, the more likely you are to plan ahead and to succeed. And that’s what I want for all of you.
Alright. Reason number one why nursing students fail out, is not having a strong study system in place by the time nursing school starts. Now there are so many different study systems that I could talk to you about, and that’s kind of my jam, and I have talked to you about it before. Feel free to go back to my episode called, “My Insanely Effective Study System”. But different things work for different people. Different strokes for different folks, right? But it’s not like you graduate high school and then the next month, or even after summer vacation, you’re starting nursing school. No. Because there’s something called pre-reqs, right? We all have to take Anatomy and Physiology. We all have to take Microbiology. We all have to take Nutrition. All of these college level pre-reqs must be taken before you start nursing school. And yes, it’s a headache and yes, I would prefer they would just be part of nursing school. But, it is an opportunity because it gives you a chance to perfect your study system. It gives you a chance to try out different methods and find what works best for you, so that by the time nursing school starts, you’ve got a pretty fine-tuned system in place. Now I will say that nursing school is not exactly like your prerequisite classes. It’s different in a lot of ways. So your study system may have to be tweaked to fit the demands of nursing school, and you have to be flexible. Flexibility is the name of the game for nurses. I remember after walking out of my very first nursing exam, thinking, “What the heck?” I got pretty much straight A’s in my prerequisite classes and here I was after my first nursing school test, I came out of it with like, I don’t know, a high c? Low b? And I was disappointed. I was embarrassed to tell my fiance. I felt stupid. But, I mean it’s a wake up call that A, nursing school is not the same as your prerequisites, and B, the competition is not the same either. Because, if you think about it, all of the other students that you’re in class with in nursing school, they were all the straight A students in the prerequisite classes, for the most part. I mean that kind of depends on what school you’re going to and how selective they are, but you’re in there with the cream of the crop. The ones who couldn’t cut it have already been weeded out by the time you start nursing school. So you’re gonna have to work a little bit harder to make even the same level of grades that you were making in your prerequisite classes. But, for the most part, you should have your general study system down pat by the time you start nursing school.
Alright, another reason why people fail out of nursing school, is because they’re not setting aside enough time. They underestimate how much time it’s going to take to be in class, and to be in the lab, to do clinicals, to drive back and forth. To study, to learn all of the information, not just like surface level, “Ok, I can pick one correct multiple choice answer out of these questions”, but for nursing school, you really have to know the information on a deeper level. A level in which you can apply the information to circumstances that are similar to what you learned, but not exactly the same.
And you have to be able to be selfish, which is really hard for nurses. Cause, I would say, the type of person that goes into nursing is the type of person that is really great at taking care of others, but not so great at taking care of themselves. A person who tends to put other people’s needs and priorities above their own. And in the right circumstance, that is an admirable trait. But, there is a time and there a place for putting your own needs first. And that time and that place is nursing school. Cause you’ve paid the money, you’ve told your family and friends that you are doing this, so you need to do this. That may mean your family has to I don’t know, scrounge up their own dinner that night because you are studying, or little Jimmy doesn’t get to participate in soccer for the next few months because it may interfere with your clinical time, or Mommy (or Daddy) is not going to be available to host playdates for the next few months. This is the time to be selfish. And it is OK. I don’t even want you to think of it as you being selfish really because in the end, who are you doing this for? You’re doing it for yourself, Yes. But you’re just as much doing it for your family. And they should be understanding of that. And you can even put it that way, you can say, “I love you so much that, yes I would rather watch this movie with you, but I love you so much, that I’m gonna set it up and let you watch it on your own while I go study, because I need to get a good grade so that we can go on that vacation in 2 years. So that we can have all the things that we want in life. We can have options that maybe we don’t have right now. So I’m gonna have to do the work now, so we can have the fun later.”
Alright. Another reason why, and this a pretty common one, for why students will drop out in the middle of a semester, is stressful life circumstances. So something comes up, and you have an unforeseen family responsibility that you have to take care of. Um, like you get pregnant, or someone in your extended family passes away and you feel like it’s just too much right now, the timing is not good for nursing school. And obviously, sometimes, it will be a valid reason, and maybe you do need to take a step back and return to nursing school at a later point. But, so many times, even in a case of pregnancy, so many times you think something like that would certainly derail your plans for graduating from nursing school, but usually it’s not the first time the teachers have seen that happen, and usually they can work with you. They can work around it. If you go to them and communicate with them openly about what’s happening and about your fears, but tell them that your first choice is not to drop out and if there’s anything that could be done, you would love to hear different options. Usually they’ve done this before, and they have a plan for those circumstances. So please don’t let dropping out be your first default response if some crazy life circumstance pops up. I would much rather you guys go to your teacher, the most sympathetic one, and tell them what’s going on and see if there’s some work around. And sometimes all it will take is them encouraging you through this, and them letting you know that, “Oh yeah, last semester, Suzie Q got pregnant and she was able to make it work.” Sometimes all it takes is hearing that someone else has gone through a similar circumstance and has come out on the other end and been successful.
Alright, Another reason why people fail out, and this ties into a little bit, the having a strong study system in place, but some students will rely on cramming instead of doing their everyday flashcard drills. And, I have told you guys before, if it comes down to either cramming and staying up until 2 am trying to cram the information into my brain, or going to bed at a reasonable hour and winging it, I will wing it. Because in most cases, you’re better off getting those extra few hours of sleep than going into a test being severely sleep deprived. Your brain cannot function. Cannot make critical thinking decisions on just a couple hours of sleep. At least, my brain cannot. But hopefully, it won’t come down to that. Hopefully you will plan ahead and do a little bit everyday. If the only thing that you can do is work your flashcards 20 minutes a day. If life gets crazy and that’s the only thing you can do for a few days, you are still gonna be so much better off than the person who does nothing for a few days, and then tries to just stay up all night the night before a test cramming. Because if you try to cram, when you get to the test, things will look just a little familiar. And that is a dangerous place to be in, because the teachers know that when they write the test. They’re gonna make some of the wrong answers look a little familiar, and if you haven’t taken the time to truly memorize or understand the information, all you’ve done is crammed and all these little key words look a little familiar, then you’re gonna be a sitting duck in that exam room. Because the wrong answer is going to look familiar enough for you to choose it. So please don’t rely on cramming. It’s much better to do a little bit each day and go to bed and get your 8 hours of sleep the night before an exam.
Alright. Another reason why nursing students will fail out of nursing school is not planning ahead and missing a due date. Missing an assignment. That’s why it’s so important to keep a planner. Now I don’t care if that planner is a paper planner or if it’s, you know, Google Calendar, or some kind of super cool planning app that I don’t even know about, but whatever works best for you, use it. And use it consistently. For me, I do both paper and digital. So I have a paper planner that I go through and update every Sunday night with all my assignments that are due, any in person labs, lectures, clinicals, any exams. It clearly lays out where I’m supposed to be and when. What I’m supposed to be doing at any given point in time. Then I also put certain things like due dates, or exam times in my Google calendar, with a reminder. And those reminders have saved me so many times. Because people forget. We get busy. No one can just keep all of that information just up in their brain. And if you tried, you would just be walking around like a crazy person mumbling to yourself, “Ok, exam on Wednesday, 8am. Clinicals at this hospital at this time.” So don’t even try. Get it out of your brain and onto paper and preferably with some sort of alarm reminder in place as well. It never hurts to be over-prepared, to have too many reminders. It’s not a thing. And the way this will cause someone to fail, pretty easily, is you know, all it takes is one missed assignment. One zero, to bring down your whole grade point average for that class. And once you get a zero, it’s next to impossible to bring it up to a passing grade. So don’t let that be you. And it is so easy to do. And, I mean, you be the one that remembers the assignments. And help out your friends. If you have a study group, or a friend group, which I’m sure you will, and there’s a big assignment that’s due tomorrow, maybe send out a little reminder text, “Hey, did you guys get this done? Don’t forget.” Look out for each other. But definitely don’t rely on someone else to send you reminders. You make your own reminders in your own planner.
Another reason why students fail is due to poor time management skills. And I know this sounds very vague, so I’m gonna break it down a little bit. I always think of the saying, “If you need something done, ask a busy person to do it.” And you would think, that goes against common sense. “Well, if they’re a busy person, they’re too busy to do whatever I need done.” But, in reality, the busier people get, the more they are forced to fine-tune their time management skills. That’s why so often the student who’s also a parent, or the student who’s also working a full time job will often do better, make better grades, turn in all the assignments than the student who’s just straight out of highschool, living at home, getting all their meals for free, not working, because a person who is busy has no choice other than to have very effective time management skills. Let's say there’s a nursing student who is working a full time job and has kids. So that person gets home from work and she knows she’s got to get dinner on the table, she’s got to get the kids homework done, she’s gotta get them to bed. Hopefully she has a support system that can help. Then she gets them to bed and she knows, “OK, I’ve got two hours before bedtime, and then it starts all over again tomorrow.” So what is she going to do for those two hours? Do you think she’s gonna sit around and Netflix and chill? Or do you think she is going to hit the books, hit those flashcards and focus on active learning for two hours? Yes, she’s going to be a very effective student because that’s the only time she has to get it done. She can’t mess around. So that’s why I say, “If you need something done, ask a busy person.” Because usually that busy person is more likely to get it done than the person who has nothing else to do. And I know we’ve all seen this happen, let’s say you have one thing that you need to do, but it’s not due for a week, right? You’ve got all this extra time, and you think, “OK I’m gonna start tomorrow and I’m gonna do such a good job on it because I have all this time to devote to it.” And then tomorrow comes, but you don’t really feel like doing it, and you still have 6 more days to work on it, so what’s the big deal? So you put it off and you put it off. And then the day before it’s due you finally buckle down and work on it, but you maybe devote two hours to it. About the same amount of time, maybe even less, than the really busy person devoted to that same task. So that’s why it’s so important, especially in nursing school, to have good time management skills. Put that study session down in your planner and treat that study time like it’s a full time job. Before nursing school started, I would purposely schedule my prerequisite classes to last all day. So there would be an early morning class, and a late afternoon class, 5 days a week. And I would have time in between. Why did I do that? Because I knew if I didn’t schedule an early morning class, I wasn’t going to wake up early and use that time to study, I was just going to sleep in. And if my classes were finished early, like finished at noon, I was just gonna go home, have lunch, and watch my favorite tv shows. But, I had an early morning class, and a late afternoon class, and a block in between. I wasn’t gonna go home, I was just gonna stay at the school. Go to the library and study. That was gonna be my study time and I was gonna treat that school day as if it was my full-time job. And I did. Also, this is a bonus tip, I also never allowed myself to fall asleep at the library. The library was like my sacred study spot, and I knew that bad habits are so easy to fall into. You know, you’re in your study spot, and you’re like, you just had lunch, and you’re feeling all warm and cozy and you get a little sleep. Why not just lay your head down and take a nap? But I made a promise to myself I would never do that because that was my study spot, not to be confused with my nap-time spot. So if I felt too sleep, I would get up, leave the library, and go to something else until I was awake.
Also, another thing that kinda ties in with time management skills is, don’t be late. Don’t be late, especially to clinicals. The clinical teachers do not tolerate being late. Also, don’t be late to lab, same thing. I mean sometimes, there’s traffic, things pop up, but give yourself a little leeway. I know, when I was in the military, I was in the Air Force for a while, and the saying was, “If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late.” It’s just a good general practice to give yourself an extra 15 minutes, so if your class starts at 10 am, pretend that it starts at 9:45. If you do that, then you’ll be much more likely to get there on time every time. Even if there’s a little bit of traffic, even if your kid can’t find their matching shoes and you’re out the door a little later than normal. Give yourself that extra 15 minutes to get to all your nursing school things on time.
Alright, another reason why someone might drop out of nursing school is just from ignoring self care. Self-care is so important and this is another time in which you might feel like you’re being selfish. But, you’re not. Everyone needs self care. If you don’t take care of yourself, and I’m talking about eating relatively healthy, getting out there and at least going for a walk, doing some kind of exercise that makes you feel good about yourself. Or even just taking some time out to yourself. I, personally, am pretty far over on the introverted spectrum. I am definitely an introvert. And for me, it’s a need to have alone time. And sometimes I’ll even tell my kids, “I’m gonna go in my room, cause Mommy needs a little bit of alone time right now.” And I do. I go in there and set my timer for 15 minutes. Maybe do some journaling, if I’m having big thoughts swirling in my brain, and then, you know, after those 15 minutes are up, I’m like a new person. I come out, I’ve got a fresh, healthier perspective on life, and I am a better person to be around. I’m better able to pour into my kids and into my family. Because I took that time to give myself a little self love, a little self-care. And that can look different to different people. Right? I mean, sometimes I’ll take a hot bath, especially in the winter, and that really rejuvenates me. Maybe for you it’s going to get a manicure. Or maybe it’s a massage. I know, we’re students, right? We don’t have a ton of money to throw around on massages and manicures. But if you do, good on ya. Have fun doing that. Um maybe it’s taking 30 minutes out to watch your favorite tv show, or reading a non-nursing book. And if you can combine your self care with spending time with your spouse or your boyfriend/girlfriend, then that’s a bonus. Cause you’re taking care of yourself and you’re investing in your relationship at the same time. Maybe your self care looks like going for a jog or going to do a little light shopping, or taking a little extra time on your night routine that night. Really being mindful about putting on your lotion. Let your face cream soak in. Maybe you play some spa music and make it a whole like spa session for yourself. I don’t know. Whatever works for you. Just make sure you take a little time for self care. And you can even write it into your planner. Things are much more likely to get done if it’s written down and there's an actual time block set aside for that thing. I think a great idea is to dedicate the rest of the day after an exam to self-care. So, let’s say you take your exam in the morning, after that, you’re done. You typically don’t have classes for the rest of the day, and your brain is fried anyway, so you’re probably not gonna get any good studying done. So why not take that day and just dedicate it to self-care? Whatever makes you feel the most loved and taken care of that you can do on your own, not relying on anyone else. Do that.
Another reason why some students will fail out of nursing school is by not using outside resources. Now, many students can get by just on what is provided by your nursing school. Just by reading the textbook, making flashcards on index cards. That works for a lot of students. But, for a lot of other students, like me, that wasn’t quite enough. Or at least I found that I could save a lot of time and work smarter, not harder, by using some outside resources. And you can find what works best for you. The things that have worked the best for me so far are Picmonic, Nursing.com, and I use a special flashcard app called Anki. These 3 things have been my go-to resources. And then, I also, of course, use Youtube videos for certain topics, and so many podcasts that I’ve listened to. Shout out to Straight A Nursing podcast. She’s got a ton of awesome episodes that I soaked up when I was looking for specific topics. You can get more information on Nursing.com and the Anki flashcard app from the episode that I made called “You Need These Study Apps.” Picmonic is probably the one I’ve used the longest, and you guys know I love Picmonic, cause it’s actually fun to use. It feels like a game, but it uses a proven method of active learning that keeps you engaged. I’ve got a link in the show notes for Picmonic, if you want to check it out.
Alright, now this next one is a little controversial. I’m talking about study groups. One reason why nursing students might fail out is because they rely too heavily on whatever study group they’re in. Now I love a good study group as much as the next person, but I am not going to rely on my study group to teach me the information. I’m gonna rely on my study group more for the opportunity for me to teach the information. Does that make sense? That’s one of the reasons why I started this podcast, because if you’re able to teach someone something, by the act of preparing to teach someone information, you have to learn it on another level. A deeper level. Because you can’t just know the surface information because what if they have questions? You know, and you have to be able to articulate the information in such a way to make them understand it. And once you’re able to do that, then you know that you have learned that information on a deeper level. So I see study groups as more of a way to have that opportunity to force yourself to truly learn information because you know you’re gonna be in a room with other people and you’re gonna have to talk about the information, and you don’t want to sound like an idiot, right? So it’s kind of an accountability group, more than just, “Hey, I’m gonna show up and bring my Starbucks just for me, and I’m gonna teach them all the information that I didn’t have time to read on my own.” No. Plus, if you’re going into it with that attitude, you might not be in that study group for very long. You might get kicked out. Cause you’re not contributing anything to the study group if you’re just relying on the other members to teach you stuff. That’s why I also think you should choose your study group members carefully, based on what you see, how other students are acting in the class the first week. Be selective with who’s in your study group. Don’t let it get too big. I think 3 or 4 people in a study group is the perfect number. Any bigger than that and it becomes a kind of gossip hour. And that’s not what you want. That’s not productive. It’s not a good use of your time. Another good thing to do with study groups is to have a plan going into each study group session. You’ll probably have like a group text or something going on, and you can send out something like, “Hey, in the next study session, do you guys want to tackle this topic or this chapter?” And then someone needs to divy it up. Like, “Yeah, I’ll take this section, and I will teach you guys about it and have a few questions ready for you, and Johnny, why don’t you take this other section, and Sharon why don’t you take this section. Does that sound good to everyone?” You also want to set a specific time frame, so, “We will meet at this location from 2-4pm.” I think 2 or 3 hours is plenty for a study group. You are a busy person, you have a lot to get done. Remember, you are not relying on that study group session to learn the information. That’s just like a bonus.
Another reason, and I’ve kind of touched on this already, but I’m talking about it a little more, is thinking that nursing school is gonna be similar to your prereqs. There’s so much that is different that could lead to you failing out of nursing school if you’re not prepared. So one of the biggies is the grading scale. Typically, for nursing school, the cutoff for a passing grade is much higher than it was during the prereqs. I know for me, the cutoff for a passing grade during my prereqs was a 70. You get a 70 or better, you pass the class. Yeah! But, for nursing school, the cutoff is a 78. You have to get a 78 in order to pass the class. And, most of the nursing school professors do not grade on a curve, so you can’t rely on that. I have never actually failed a test, but I’ve come darn close. I remember scrambling after the test, trying to look up that cutoff. Cause I couldn’t remember if it was 77.5 or if it was 78.2. So I had to look that up, so just look it up now. Just go to whatever school you’re at, if you don’t know what it is already, look up that cutoff. Hopefully you will never have to scramble, cause you won’t get a test grade that low, but it happens. And that can be the difference between someone graduating nursing school and someone failing out. Another big difference is the questions on exams are not the same in nursing school. You have a lot of select all that apply questions, which are not your typical multiple choice questions, cause the right answer could be A, B, and C; it could be A, D, and E; it could just be A; it could be none of them. It could be all of them. And so many answer choices on nursing school tests will seem like they have more than one right answer. You’ll be like, “Well yeah, this one sounds right.” And you’ll pick that one, but make sure you read through all of the options before you choose, because, so many times, A will seem like the right answer, and it could be a right answer, but D is more right. So the answer will be D and not A. It can get very confusing. Definitely very different from the exams in your prerequisite classes. And part of succeeding with those is just practice. Just practice taking tests in that format. That’s why the tests are like that in nursing school, because that’s what the NCLEX is gonna be like. And your nursing professors are just trying to get you prepared for taking the NCLEX, and yes, part of being prepared is learning the information, that’s a huge part. But another huge part is just being comfortable with that format. So that’s why they do that. And I’m sure it’s frustrating for them as well, having to explain why answer D is more correct than answer A, but they’re just trying to get you used to taking tests like that. Cause that’s what is gonna get you your nursing certification from the state boards.
Alright, another reason why a student might withdraw from nursing school is not planning ahead financially. When you’re in nursing school, it’s ideal to not have to work full time. And you should plan ahead for that, and start saving up ahead of time, so that you can afford to just work part time or not at all. Now I have talked about the benefits of working a little bit in the hospital during nursing school, and if you want to go back and listen to that, it’s called the 6 Reasons You Should Work During Nursing School. I go into detail on what I think is a good, helpful amount of work to do during nursing school. But at no point do I suggest working a full time job while going to nursing school full time, cause your number one priority needs to be passing your classes. If you can get A’s, that’s great, but really you just gotta pass your classes. And that may look like working overtime leading up to your nursing school start date. That may look like taking out a loan; if you do go the loan route, I would suggest not taking out any more than you absolutely have to. And you may not be able to live in the same way that you are accustomed to living before you start nursing school, if you’re going from working full time to part time, or if you’re going from you and your spouse’s salary, down to just his or her salary. That’s gonna be an adjustment. If you can have 6-12 months of living expenses saved up in addition to what you’re going to need to live frugally while you’re in nursing school; that way if something comes up, you know, if your tire goes flat and you need to buy a new tire, you’re not scrambling and feeling like you need to drop out of nursing school, or you need to go deep into credit card debt because of this unexpected life circumstance, and unexpected financial crisis. So definitely plan ahead financially. Save up like 6 months of living expenses, so you don’t have to worry about that as much while you’re in nursing school. And if something comes up, you have the funds to handle it.
Alright, another thing that could fail you out of nursing school is by not being a safe nurse during clinicals. The main time that your clinical instructors are going to be looking at what you’re doing with a fine-toothed comb and evaluating like every step, is with medication administration. They usually want to sign you off on this at least one time during your clinical rotation, and with doing at least one pass of PO meds, so like pills, and then also some kind of IV push medication, or at least like a heparin shot. And if you don’t do this safely, if you’re not a safe nurse during med administration, that could get you failed out of clinicals, which would set you back by a semester. You’d have to repeat those clinicals. So definitely know what you’re doing during med pass. Know your 5 rights of medication administration. Know that you have the Right Patient, Right Medication, Right Dose, Right Time, and you’re giving it by the Right Route. Go slowly when you’re preparing and giving medications.
Another thing is, make sure you take criticism constructively. Your teachers are there to help you. They shouldn't be there to make your life miserable. They’re there to help you, and they do want you to succeed. So if the teacher is correcting something that you're doing, or about to do, don’t get mad. Don’t get defensive. Just learn from it. Bite your tongue if you must. Go to the bathroom and cry if you must. I definitely did that in clinicals. One time in clinicals, my teacher told me that I would be inserting a Foley catheter in a patient, and I had actually done that before because I was a nurse’s aide, so I hadn’t done a Foley, but I had done a straight, in and out catheter, so I kind of felt like I knew what I was doing, and there was one point in the procedure where it was kinda like, the book says to do it one way, but in real life, pretty much everyone doesn’t use this one part of the kit that’s included, and so my professor was having me talk her through the procedure before I went in to do it, so I was going through it kind of fast, probably a little faster than I should have, but I got to that one point when I was talking through it, and I said, “OK this part, we just toss aside.” And my professor stopped me, and said, “No. You have to use everything in the kit.” And she would not let me go into the room and try the procedure on that patient. And on the inside, I was very upset. I was very mad. Went to the bathroom, had a good little cry. But on the outside, I certainly didn’t show that I was mad at my teacher. I certainly didn’t sass her or say anything disrespectful to her. I kept it to myself. I mean, I vented to a couple of my close friends, but you have to respect that that is your teacher, and even though yes, you’re paying their salary, you’re paying to go to school there; they are still in charge of your grade. So it’s only going to help you to be respectful and take criticism constructively. Just try to learn from it. Later that teacher passed me through clinicals, she wrote a glowing recommendation for me, helped me get my first job, and we’re friends on facebook. But that could have gone very differently if I had talked back to her. I mean, there is a way, if you have enough social graces to say what you’re thinking in a way that doesn’t come off as rude or disrespectful, then yes, there’s a way to do that. But in the moment, if you’re feeling heated, then it’s usually best just to shut your mouth, bite your tongue, and just be respectful. Cause once those words of anger come out, you can’t take em back. And they could affect your grade negatively.
Alright, another thing that could easily get you kicked out of nursing school and this is something you have to remember for the rest of your nursing career, because I have seen a nurse start a new job and then get fired, like ‘that’ because they violated HIPAA. HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was signed into law in 1996. It basically says that healthcare workers are not allowed to disclose any personal information of the patient. So don’t be putting pictures of you at work online if it has, you know, in the background there’s like a patient’s name or anything that could reveal who that patient was. Even if it’s like, “oh my gosh, last night there was a terrible train wreck, and my patient died, and blah blah blah.” Ok, maybe if you lived in New York City, or something, then people might not be able to figure out who the patient was, but let’s say you live in a small town, population of 500. Words gonna get around, and people are probably gonna know who you’re talking about. So you have to be sensitive to that, and don’t go out to a restaurant when you go out to work and your talking to maybe your coworker, and you guys are talking about a patient, and you’re talking kind of loud, and people at the table next to you might hear what you’re saying. That would be a HIPAA violation. Don’t be talking about a patient in the elevator if there are people on the elevator that aren’t directly caring for that patient. Cause that would be a HIPAA violation. I know that nursing is a stressful job, and so many times we want to vent and we need to vent. If you had a patient that just had a rough time or even died, then you need to talk to someone to process that. But, you can do it in a way that protects the anonymity of your patient and their family. A way that does not violate HIPAA.
OK. Finally, one last thing that I want to talk about that can prevent you from quitting and that can help you stay motivated so that you study hard and you don’t fail out is to remember your why. Remember why you chose to go to nursing school in the first place. Maybe you just chose nursing because there’s a high demand for nurses and you know that you will always have a job wherever you live. Maybe you chose nursing because you genuinely are a caring person and you want to help people when they most need someone. Maybe it’s more personal. Like one of your parents died from an illness and you had to help care for them when you were young, and you decided then and there that you would be a nurse. Whatever it is. Whatever called you to this profession, remember that. Keep that close to your heart. Because that’s what’s gonna get you through. That’s what’s going to motivate you to study harder. Study longer. And keep going even when you get a failing grade on a nursing exam, or maybe you go to clinicals and you get chewed out by your professor for whatever reason. You weren’t prepared. Remembering your why and keeping that near and dear. That is what’s gonna keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel. When you feel like this is too much. It’s too hard. Remember your why and you will make it to graduation day.
Alright you guys. That’s what I have. If someone’s gonna fail, those are the reasons why they will fail out of nursing school. But now we’ve talked about it, and hopefully you’re just a little bit more prepared to make it to the end. Alright you guys, have a great week, and I’ll talk to you next time.